Transcend-ental Meditation – it Costs $2000+ to learn in a TM Center.
Here is the full technique explained step-by-step for free.
Benefits of TM include:
1. Stress relief
2. Higher work efficiency
3. Better school performance
4. Healthy blood pressure
5. Lower risk of heart disease
6. Quitting smoking
7. Alcoholism treatment
8. Hyperactivity (ADHD) treatment
9. Healthy relationships
10. Improved intelligence
I learnt how to do Transcendental Meditation in 1999 when I was 23 years old. I studied it in a TM Center in my home city. It was a good experience, my tutor, an American woman, was kind, gentle and compassionate and meditating in a group each evening in the center was a lovely experience. Here I detail the technique which I have used since, over almost 20 years.
Transcend-ental Meditation (TM) was developed by the Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the 1950’s and popularized in the 1960’s when it came to the west (i.e. California).
The Maharishi was the guru that the Beatles were hanging out with in India, when they were exploring spiritual practice and the expansion of consciousness.
TM is based on sitting silently and using a mantra which is repeated in the mind and gently focused on. To learn TM properly you could go to your nearest Transcend-ental Meditation center and pay to learn it there where you get expert personal one-on-one tuition and guidance from an experienced tutor who has studied at the Maharishi place where you get an education.
Are you uncomfortable using the TM technique without paying for it? (it’s a paid, privately taught meditation technique for a good reason).
Or do you find it hard to properly practice the technique (to keep your concentration on the mantra, or if you lose focus during your meditation sessions)? Then I recommend trying the Omharmonics binaural beats meditation program.
OmHarmonics quickly helps you reach a very deep, blissful, beautiful-feeling state of meditation ($50 off here, limited) without needing to do anything other than closing your eyes and listening with earphones.
It gives you all of the benefits of TM without the effort and the pitfalls of learning any one specific technique.
For those who cannot afford it or who don’t have a TM center nearby here is a free step by step guide.
Here we go:
1. Switch off phones etc, and make sure you will be undisturbed for twenty five minutes or so. You will need a timer of some sort or have a watch or a clock nearby.
2. Sit quietly with eyes closed, feet on the floor. Hands can sit on your lap, just make sure you are comfortable.
3. The mantra is “Shiring” – this is more of a “sound” than a word. Often it is two syllables, “Shi” and “Ring”. Allow the mantra to gently come gently into your mind.
4. Repeat the mantra in your mind without force or effort. Allow it to circle in your mind at any frequency that it wants to.
5. If you notice that you have drifted off in thought, then gently bring your attention back to repeating the mantra.
6. If any difficult thoughts or feelings arise, simply let them go without any force or judgment and come back to the mantra in your mind.
7. Continue like this for twenty minutes. Check on your watch or clock or wait until your timer tells you that twenty minutes have passed.
8. When twenty minutes have passed stop repeating the mantra in your mind, and sit quietly without repeating the mantra for two more minutes before coming back into the world by opening your eyes.
TM is usually practiced for twenty minutes twice a day, but practicing it once a day or irregularly is also very beneficial.
This is a very effective meditation technique for mental health, physical health, relaxation, self-love, awareness and growth.
You don’t need to understand every little detail of Transcendental Meditation (TM) in order to benefit from it, just the same way drivers don’t have to understand how vehicle engines work in order to drive them.
What you should, however, keep in mind is the fact that the TM organization is a commercial venture and therefore it would not be appropriate to reveal every minutiae of the technique. In my experience, if you feel the need to learn the true art of TM, it would be a good idea to find yourself a teacher. That can be a little pricey, but it would be great fun.
On the other hand, if you want to learn meditation without breaking the bank, you can opt for non-directed meditation through Yoga classes and instructors. In case you’re just planning to sample things out and understand what meditation feels like, then it would be ideal to enrol for a 10-day long Goenka style retreat.
Worth noting is that the meditation world is also dictated by the concept of free markets and therefore demand and supply affect the pricing of lessons and tuition.
In case you would like to learn about TM and how it works, then I would recommend getting Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s book titled “Science of Being and Art of Living”. This book is a handy guide to identifying the true meaning of life and the kind of options you can explore to enrich your mind. Although some parts of his book are pretty repetitive, it still offers a fair representation of TM’s science and philosophy and you can benefit a lot from it. That said, please note that this book will certainly not tell you everything that can be written about TM.
So, where can one get more details on the actual technique? Well, actually, the technique itself is quite simple. Below is another description of the steps you need to take in order to practice it.
Step 1: Make sure you’re seated comfortably
Step 2: Close your eyes gently
Step 3: Select a mantra word to use (a meaningless word or sound which TM trainers can help customize for you) and keep repeating it in your mind while in this state.
There’s a lot of controversy behind mantras. However, the general consensus is that a mantra can be customized for each person. Of course, there are those who have challenged this claim as well.
Some folks reckon that there was just one mantra when TM began. The effect of using particular mantras as opposed to others has never been fully studied. So, the question remains; what if one decides to look around and pick a random sound or word to use as a mantra? How would that affect the outcome of their TM? Would it work better than a customized mantra or not?
The closest the world ever came to finding an answer to this question was in the documentary “David Learns to Fly.” The documentary was prominent in causing a lot of debate and attention on its’ release on the topic of TM. In it, a person called David picks a random German word and through various lab EEG experiments proved that the random German word has a better effect than the official TM mantras.
In general TM mantras are picked from either Beeja mantras of seed mantras. You can find out more about these by listening keenly to Lalita Sahasranama (sacred text from a Hindu female goddess).
What I learnt is that most simple and realistic meditation techniques tend to use generic mantras – no customization. Generally speaking, there are three things that happen to your mind (or should happen) when a mantra is repeated severally.
1. You begin with your mind full of thoughts
2. The mantra takes over the background although the thoughts remain in the foreground
3. Eventually, the thoughts are completely erased and the mantra takes over and continues to dominate
In situation #3, your brain is expected to have surpassed its usual limits and ultimately transformed the quality and state of your thought process.
The great seer Maharishi Mahesh Yogi referred to this state as the field of utmost power that manifests reality.
For Maharishi, TM was the only meditation technique capable of helping transform one’s being.
From a neurological perspective, TM is designed to produce alpha and theta brain wave activity at a reliable level in the brain. In the recent past, people like Fred Travis, John Hagelin, and David Lynch have all made notable demonstrations using EEG patterns indicating how TM works.
Looking closely at TM, one might be astonished at how efficiently and effectively it alters the brain wave patterns. However, note that even while practicing transcendental meditation, you’re still in a state of thought, only that the brain state is akin to when you’re daydreaming.